Another year is upon us and with it comes some new and familiar challenges. At the time of this writing, home sales are stagnant and many are waiting for markets to open. While you’re waiting for phones to ring and jobs to book, I suggest you get busy enhancing your services and one of the best ways is through education. Begin by supporting your association. Seize education opportunities concerning new and old building technologies and the latest marketing trends. The national and local ASHI events are designed with our needs in mind, from the course content to speakers, to the time of year offered and the location. More importantly, your participation helps support the efforts by many volunteers and our professional staff to get the ASHI name out to the public—locally, in states and on the national scene. The impact is dramatic.
Our Board of Directors, committee and task force volunteers work hard to generate thoughtful ideas and concepts to enhance or complement our business. Your dues dollars support this work on all levels. As the home inspection business continues to evolve, ASHI will have a strong hand in attempting to shape its outcome, in the hope of creating a true profession in the image of its membership. Remember our position statement: “ASHI Advocates for excellence and exemplary practice to the benefit of our members, the profession, and the public.”
In the world of home inspections and after a year as your president, I am more convinced than ever that ASHI is the household name in this industry. As long as we continue to do what we do best, the challenge is not how to maintain this position, but how to get this message out to our own membership.
All year long I’ve been writing about ASHI’s excellent reputation, as spoken by public contacts including reporters, editors and other media outlets. It’s important to realize just how well-known and respected this organization is to the outside world. And how important it is to have a professional staff be the consistent public contact for our association. There’s a reason why fledgling groups out there are copying our every move and trying their hardest to look like our association.
Our heart and soul
That brings me to another point: you can look like us, talk like us, copy our standards and even copy some catchy marketing phrases. However, if an association group does not have the heart and soul of our ethics, experience and other membership requirements, there
is no truth in advertising to the home-buying consumer about inspector qualifications. This is where ASHI’s 30-year reputation pays big dividends as the most respected national association. No instant Web site or marketing hype will give you that kind of public credibility.
Time for soul-searching
And while I’m on this topic, I need to rant about one more thing this year. I need to remind our members who hold dual membership in the virtual association group (a group I won’t mention) to consider this point: how is it possible to hold membership with this group knowing they routinely and unabashedly promote their members to homebuying consumers as ‘qualified,’ with an online quiz labeled as misleading and ridiculed as unsecured by television reporters, and within our industry, having no experience, education or mentoring of any kind, and that this is publicly identified by media as a deceitful practice? As a friend of mine in Jersey says: “How can a member belong to two different religions and with different beliefs?” Our associations are very different. I suggest it’s time for some soul-searching on that point. I feel better now that I got that off my chest. It has been bothering me for some time.
Grateful wishes and thankful praises
So, there you have it, as promised, a year’s worth of rants and raves. And every year at this time, a message like this one includes grateful wishes and thankful praises. Mine is no different. It has been my pleasure and honor to serve as ASHI’s President, in an association filled with some of the most professional people in the business devoted to the betterment of the profession. Thank you for all your support and to all, a healthy and prosperous new year.